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Our Arts Speakers Series closes with Vijay Gupta and The Medicine of Music.
In this 75 minute virtual conversation, violin performance, and Q&A., Gupta explores the connection between music and mental health, explaining why music’s redemptive power may hold more potential than we realize. Gupta draws from his work as director of Street Symphony—a classical music outreach concert series—to illustrate how music can help bring people back from the brink of their darkest times. How does music speak to people in ways language cannot? Why is music education vitally important, especially to those who are most in need? Erudite, eloquent, and passionate, Gupta shows audiences that music isn’t just something to be enjoyed—it's something that can change lives.
Co-sponsors: Salem State Alumni Association, Center for Civic Engagement and Healthcare Studies program.
Vijay Gupta is a violinist and educator whose efforts to merge music with mental health are changing the world, note by note. Named a MacArthur Fellow for “providing musical enrichment and valuable human connection to the homeless, incarcerated, and other under-resourced communities in Los Angeles,” Gupta is the founder of Street Symphony—a musical advocacy program that empowers citizen-musicians by engaging with communities experiencing extreme poverty, incarceration, and homelessness. The results have been extraordinary.
Called “a riveting speaker” by The New Yorker, “at once jovial and intense,” Vijay Gupta is a violinist and passionate advocate for artistic voices at the center of social justice. Gupta joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2007 at age 19, after having completed an undergraduate degree in biology from Marist College and a Master’s degree in violin performance from the Yale School of Music. As a TED Senior Fellow, Gupta founded and began directing Street Symphony, a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging underserved communities experiencing homelessness and incarceration in Los Angeles through musical performance and dialogue. Gupta has also been named one of six national Citizen Artist Fellows by the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Alex Ross of The New Yorker named him “one of the most radical thinkers in the unradical world of American classical music,” and “a visionary violinist.”
Gupta made his solo debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta at age 11, and has performed as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician on an international scale since the age of 8. He has also performed as a guest concertmaster with the Los Angeles Opera and the UK’s acclaimed Philharmonia Orchestra.
Gupta serves on the faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, which prepares musicians to become agents of change through the study of performance, music pedagogy and social justice. He also serves on the board of directors of the DC-based national arts advocacy organization Americans for the Arts as well as Los Angeles’s beloved 24th Street Theatre, which serves to engage a diverse community with excellent theatre and arts education.
Gupta was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of La Verne and at age 29, was awarded the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. In 2019, he was named one of TIME’s “100 Next”, the magazine’s inagural list putting a spotlight on rising stars shaping the future.
Fall 2020 Arts Speaker Series